Child Star

June 2, 2008 | By Bridget Burns | Creative

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Lucy Saroyan/Armenak Saroyan/Getty Images

There was no shortage of gasps today, as we learned of Tatum O’Neals arrest for buying crack cocaine in her Lower East Side, New York neighborhood. She explained that she was scoring the drugs in preparation for an acting role. In 1974 at age eleven, she was (and still is) the youngest actor to have won an academy award for her role as Addie Loggins in Paper Moon, along side her father actor Ryan O’Neal.

Tatum was born into an acting family with a history of substance abuse. After suffering the experience of her mother’s battle with drugs, Ryan O’Neal was given custody of Tatum, where she was further exposed to the excesses of Hollywood. In her 2004 book, A Paper Life, O’Neal chronicled her rocky childhood, her addiction to cocaine and her tumultuous relationship with ex-husband John McEnroe. Following the couple’s divorce, O’Neal’s addiction to heroin re-emerged and she lost custody of her own children. In recent years, O’Neal has attended various industry events always appearing vibrant and in good spirits, often alongside her daughter, Emily. Let’s hope that Tatum is doing OK.

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